Local SEO Expert
Today’s customers use their smartphones to find stores, restaurants, gyms, hair salons, healthcare centers and other businesses with nearby retail locations. Search engines use geographic data to deliver local search results to help shoppers find nearby outlets that supply what they are looking for.
In recent years, local SEO has evolved into a complicated craft that differs from traditional SEO in many ways. A competitive local SEO strategy requires knowledge of local targeting approaches, which is often beyond the grasp of busy business owners.
To get the job done, you need help from an experienced digital marketing agency. This article shares helpful tips on hiring a good local SEO consultant.
Reasons to Invest in Local SEO
Companies are often reluctant to invest in additional SEO services. They think that a general strategy focused on page loading speed, keyword research, content marketing, SEO-friendly URL structure, navigation, and backlinks is more than enough to establish a great online image for their brand. But upscale global presence is useless if customers cannot find your store to shop. You may have good brand awareness but little local traffic that converts into well-paying and loyal customers. Unless all your sales and customer service are conducted online, local SEO is indispensable to your general SEO strategy.
If you run your business from a retail space, it makes sense to target nearby customers, rather than marketing to everyone in the country. Local SEO targets customers searching for a place to eat or shop in your neighborhood. By leveraging local SEO, you can help them find you quickly on their phones, without having to market to them outright.
Modern web users want relevant information and services at their fingertips, and being at the right place at the right time is critical to the success of your business. Local search puts businesses and customers face-to-face. Being featured at the top of local rankings puts you on the radar of locals who are ready to immediately visit your outlet and spend some money.
Today, local search is a popular and commonly used feature, and customers expect you to appear in local rankings. When you don’t, it hurts your business and sends prospective clients to your competitors. An effective local SEO strategy implemented by seasoned specialists no longer an option but a requirement.
Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Local SEO Company
The growing demand for local optimization services has increased the number of local SEO companies. Follow the tips below to select the best agency for your needs.
1. Set Measurable Goals
Vague requirements often lead to misunderstanding between digital marketers and clients. If you want a local SEO expert to meet your expectations, you need to outline your goals as clearly and in as much detail as possible. Explain what audience you want to target, how much traffic you need, what competitors you want to outrun and whether reputation management needs to be included in your local SEO campaign.
A list of specific goals will make it easier to select an agency with ample background and knowledge, and it gives you a baseline to evaluate results.
2. Prefer a Profile Specialist Over a Jack-of-All-Trades
Since local SEO differs from traditional SEO, you need an expert who specializes in this particular area. They should have extensive experience working with Google My Business, Google Maps, local structured data markup, citation building, link building and review management. Also, look for someone with a background in your niche. Marketing healthcare services is different from marketing a restaurant.
3. Check Reviews
Use platforms like TrustPilot, Google Reviews, and Facebook to find reviews about SEO agencies. Don’t immediately take agencies with a few negative reviews off your shortlist. Evaluate how they react to the comments, and whether their response was prompt and polite, and provided a solution to the problem.
All SEO agencies make mistakes. True professionals are quick to acknowledge their failures and remedy the situation.
4. Check Candidates’ Content and Niche Authority
Reputable agencies publish professional insights and case studies on their blogs. Pay attention to the frequency and quality of publications. Check whether updates are made to old posts. Look for original and meaningful content, not just rewrites of competitors’ articles.
Well-established local SEO companies contribute to and have many mentions in authoritative journals. They use social media and other channels to keep their audience informed about important industry events like seminars and conferences they attend.
5. Find Out What Your Agent Intends to Do
You need at least a basic idea of local SEO processes to understand what you’re paying for. It’s usually impossible to outline a detailed strategy in the early stages, but your consultant should be able to explain in general terms what steps they plan to take to accomplish your goals. They should have a clear plan of action for promoting your brand locally.
6. Ask What Metrics They Prioritize
Online visibility does not always mean high revenues, and reaching a top position in search does not guarantee success. Growing traffic and conversions are much more important to your financial well-being. Make sure your SEO agent is focused on commercially valuable metrics like the number of orders and customers rather than social media likes, followers, and other superficial metrics that look good on paper but don’t translate to profits.
7. Find Out About Their Communication Process and Reporting
An SEO agency’s favorable reputation does not necessarily mean it will suit your company. You need a responsive team ready to answer your questions, which is rarely the case with agencies serving a large number of clients. Large firms often prioritize businesses that pay higher fees and put your requests at the end of the queue, making you feel frustrated and abandoned. Many local businesses are more comfortable working with a boutique SEO firm that is fully dedicated to their venture.
When choosing an SEO agent, ask what contact hours are included in the basic price of their SEO services, and the cost of additional consulting. Also, make sure you’ll receive comprehensive, neatly formatted, and reader-friendly reports that can be used by your staff and shared with third parties. Request a report sample, and clarify how often the SEO agent will share intermediate results, and what additional analytic options are available.
8. Speak to Other Clients
Before making a commitment to hire an SEO agent, ask for testimonials from current or former clients. Satisfied customers are the best advertising for any business.
Digital Clever Solutions is a leading digital marketing agency in NYC that provides both traditional and local SEO services. For over 10 years we have been helping businesses in various industries to grow and prosper in local and global markets. Our agency is featured among the top 50 best SEO companies in the world and the top 30+ SEO firms in NYC.
Our team of seasoned local SEO experts is committed to the growth, development and prosperity of your business. Contact us today for a free consultation.